A cast of 30 of Bisbee’s finest actors, directed by Rae E. Jones, has begun rehearsals for Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee. This intense courtroom drama captures the emotion-packed division between fundamentalist religious believers, bent on keeping the teachings of evolutionary biology (as put forth by Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species) out of the classrooms, and civil libertarians pressing to retain free speech and fighting to keep religious censorship out of education. William Roberts and Eugene (Gene) Conners square off as fictionalized versions of William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow (Mathew Harrison Brady and Harold Drummond in the play), oratorical giants of their day. These courtroom scenes were “torn from the headlines” long before Law & Order was cool. The real life Dayton, Tennessee, has been changed to Hillsboro, Ohio, circa 1925.
Rae likes this play because these issues arise again and again in our society and the dichotomy of beliefs seems to be at a new emotional high at this time, separating our citizens into warring camps. She believes that open-minded playgoers of all beliefs will come away from the theater with considerable food for thought after seeing this drama.
Performances of “Inherit the Wind” are scheduled for 7:30 pm on January 21, 22, 28, & 29, 2011, with 3:00 pm matinees slated for January 23 and 30. Mark your calendars now so as not to miss what promises to be an outstanding show. All performances will be held in the theater at Central School Project in Old Bisbee.